FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- The Center for Sexual Assault Crisis Counseling and Education, together with leaders across the nation and throughout Lower Fairfield County, proclaimed April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
New Canaan Chief of Police, Leon Krolikowski, joined The Center, along with town officials from Darien, Greenwich, Norwalk, Stamford, Weston, Westport and Wilton to kickoff the awareness campaign on Wednesday at the New Canaan Police Station. The Center is based in Stamford.
The Center has adopted the National “Prevention is Possible” as its theme for SAAM.
Ivonne Zucco, executive director of The Center, and sexual assault survivor Michelle Giorno also spoke at the kickoff event. They shared their thoughts and perspectives on the issue of sexual assault, the importance of prevention efforts and the critical role The Center plays in providing counseling, advocacy and education throughout Lower Fairfield County. The Public is welcome to attend.
The statistics are alarming both nationally and locally:
- Every 107 seconds another American is sexually assaulted.
- Nearly 1 in 5 Connecticut residents have experienced a sexual assault in their lifetime.
- 14% of Connecticut residents have experienced a childhood sexual assault.
- 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually assaulted by the age of 18 and over 90% of the time the abuser is someone the child knows and trusts.
Prevention education is essential to stopping this crime from happening in the first place. The Center’s age appropriate programs teach children and youth in our schools effective tools to empower them to trust their instinct when something seems wrong. The Center also provides sexual violence prevention education to the community at large, including college students, parents, law enforcement, teachers, social workers, health professionals, etc.
“Sexual assault is an issue that affects more people than we are aware of,'' Zucco said. "The Center is a safe place for survivors to come forward but without the collaboration of the rest of the community we wouldn’t be able to do our work effectively. That’s why we would like to recognize our partners and invite the community to join us during sexual assault awareness month and speak up on behalf of those that have no voice.”
In recognition of SAAM, The Center will be hosting a series of events throughout the month to raise awareness in the towns we serve:
- Wednesday, April 13 - Tabling event at Stamford High School from 11:30am-12:30pm
- Monday, April 18 - Tabling event at Greenwich High School from 11:45am – 1:15pm
- Sunday, April 24 – Kickboxing for a Cause at The DOJO Westport , 772 Post Road East, from 10:00am – 11:30am, $35per person, register by April 15, 203-557-8815
- Friday, April 29, Raise Your Glass, Raise Awareness Gala, “The Year of the Survivor”, from 7-11pm at The Waters Edge at Giovanni’s, Darien, tickets $150 per person.
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